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チェックと日本の現代美術界についての感想

東京の10日 (1+2)

2012年2月17日



What could be better than ten days in Tokyo? People often wonder how it is I do my research, when the fact is I cannot be in Japan so often. Basically, I live on the other side of the world. I like to reply that ten good days hanging around, listening, looking and marvelling at the Tokyo art world is, for me, if not exactly a lifetime, at least good enough for a year in many other places.

As we pass from the Rabbit to the Dragon, I haven't done my usual round up of the past year, this year. Let's face it: it was a bad year: "the rabbit that always tricks you" as artist Mai Miyake mentioned to me about her recent show, that in Tokyo has been on at Bunkamura, Down The Rabbit Hole. The Dragon will surely be better.


MAI MIYAKE

So instead I want to offer my ten days "sampler" of the best of October and November (with a few other links to highlights of the year). What I saw during an average week in the city. Or: why I still love the Tokyo art scene.


DAY ONE. FRIDAY.

I got in late on Thursday. Only time for the requisite first stop: a hokke setto with omori raisu at Ootoya in Ueno. It's cheap and delicious. I'm ready to start.

Friday, my first stop is Omotesando. I have a few minutes to spare, so I check out Yoko Ono's space 360°. Im looking for old fluxus memorabilia, or something historical. I used to live around the corner, and for years didn't know this gallery was here. Today it's just full of some anonymous pop art. I suppose it sells to tourists.

I'm on my way to Spiral Garden, where there is the young "Emerging Director's" gallery show. Sponsored and selected by the brilliant veteran who started it all, Tsutomu Ikeuchi. I'm going to miss the talk show tonight with art cheerleader Yumi Yamaguchi. But I do run into my old friend Haruka Ito, who used to run the Magical artroom, until she launched her own gallery and art platform, Island, that is based out of both Kashiwa "in the suburbs" and the new 3331 building.

We swap some news, and documents, and I'm particularly interested in the thrown together works on the wall she has by Ichiro Endo, who has become quite a figure with his determined engagement in the post-Tsunami art movement. In fact, I see his vans all around the city during the week; he seems to be everywhere. I last met him when he gave a talk at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. I'll see Haruka later in the week again.

On Ichiro Endo:
http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/0NukOMi9jWBVv8pXLKRe/

Later, I'm over near the Sumida River, and happen to go by the Yaso Gallery. My friend Kiki Kudo used to run this space, associated with the famous goth/underground magazine. As always its a fantastically weird experience: the shop upstairs is a cornucopia of bizarre Victoriana; the concrete space downstairs like a seedy garage in which lots of unmentionable things have been left to fester. There are two exhibitions of taxidermic and doll art inspired by the cult Czech film maker, Jan Svankmajer. You just don't see stuff like this in the left bank or east end galleries I hang out near in Paris or London!

The evening is dedicated to a music performance: a piece of Noh chanting by Ryoko Aoki set to electronic music. Ryoko is a friend I met a long time ago in an English style cafe in Sendagi, who I also see occacionally in London where she studies. It is an intense, perfectionist performance in a spectacular setting: Kazuyo Sejima's brilliant set piece Shibaura House art centre near Tamachi. The crowd is specialised and warmly appreciative of Aoki's innvative approach, which she says is not approved by many of the conventional teachers in the art form. There is a long, academic discussion about the piece afterwords.

On the way out, I get an excited text message from Erina Matsui about the opening she is going to Shibuya: it's a show of girls' art including something by her and Ellie chan of Chim Pom. I want to go but I am running late, and feeling desperately jet-lagged. Time only for a delicious tan tan ramen in Yushima before sleep.


DAY TWO. SATURDAY.

Day two has been scheduled for Yokohama. I'm just in time to catch the last week of the Triennial. Omens were not good this year, the fourth time it has been held. Japan Foundation had withdrawn funding, waterside locales had been given up, and much of the show was shrunken to the size of Yokohama Museum. Still, weather and attendance has been good, so all is not yet lost for this now minor Asian event, which was once hoped for as Japan's biggest global showcase of art to the world.

As it is, it is a poor triennial. The international curator Akiko Miki has brought in some big names who grabbed all the attention -- everyone is talking about Christian Marclay's time videos which has been reproduced from Venice. There are rumours that Miki has been impossible to work with, and neither Eriko Osaka or Taro Amano seem to have been much engaged (the exhibition surely would have been better had they been). The title is vacuous and meaningless, the waffle in the catalogue pointless, the foreign language public relations as useless as ever. It seems a show without a mission.

Let's dwell on the good bits. I love the room by Koki Tanaka, one of the few artists given a distinctive space of his own, and with the imagination to create a complete experience for viewers who wander into his ramshackle cardboard den to watch some of his quirky conceptual videos. I particularly like the one about a bus ride in Los Angeles I have made many times along a rougher stretch of Sunset boulevard. Tanaka takes his bike on and off the bus. I met him here for an interview a little over a year ago:

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/TjKIsrLvniZ5pCNbw9EY/

The other big name Japanese artist who delivers is Hiroshi Sugimoto. I've never seen one of his big shows, but I like the humourous jumble of antiques and philosophical musings about serendipitous happenings in this elegant mini-gallery, announced by his word play poem about Marcel Duchamp (Marchand du sel). The only problem is the crowd: which makes it impossible to dwell long on his pieces. So many other parts of the show go by in a big blur. There are too many people shuffling around, hardly any of the artists is given enough space, and by the time I try to see my way around the second site at Bank Art, I am thorughly fed up with the experience. A pity that I can't spend a bit more time with Mai + Naoto's sand hill work, for example. On the other hand, the bookstore is a joy, with a handful of hard to find catalogues from the 1990s and 2000s on sale.

It's a long day. The walk is nice, though, and the bus shuttles work when you need them. I would also single out Shimabuku for praise, for his startling, very un-Japanese bill board sign over the bridge between Sakuragicho and the city centre. Here is what he has to say:


SHIMABUKU, THE CHANCE TO RECOVER OUR HUMANITY

The real highlight of the day, though, comes in the much quieter and less trampled "real city" part of the show in Koganecho, down under the railway tracks east of Sakuragicho which have been renovated as part of the city's ongoing creative city projects: this year's Koganecho Bazaar. The transformation since I last saw the area -- a couple of years ago, when there was still some yakuza and red light activities going on -- is quite remarkable. Now it's all artist studies, performance spaces and cafes selling caffee ratte.

It's dark and getting late and the tour has to be rapid, including a few tastings of street food that are on offer. I'm happy to catch a video work by Mitsuhiro Ikeda -- I talked with him over beers a couple of years ago.



Next door, in a small converted house gallery is Tsuyoshi Ozawa's "Happy Island", the fully worked out installation / video of the performance I saw him give in Düsseldorf in May. See my special report (the same piece as the one on Endo, my most debated blog of the year:)

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/0NukOMi9jWBVv8pXLKRe/

It's a brilliant piece, made homely here by the front room atmosphere. At the end of the sombre poem, the table the television is standing on starts jolting widely, a home made earthquake machine. Its a nice touch of bathos.





Elsewhere in the streets the galleries are closing. There is time to catch a photo of one of Ichiro Endo GO FOR FUTURE wagons, and the latest tireless plans he has for taking his message back up north. In a wonderful small renovated traditional house, with strange and convuluted stair ways and tiny polished rooms -- Mujikobo (the Kogane Mini Residence) -- there is striking set of photos, called the Last Portrait Series by Takuboku Kuratani -- people of all ages posing for their graveyard portrait. I also catch new work by Yosuke Amimiya and Tomoyuki Noda's "rocker eye doll" project.

And what better way to finish the day than tempura soba in a tiny popular sobaya under the railway? I think about my favourite blog of last year: my visit to Mrs Orimoto and her son Tatsumi in a grimy part of Kawasaki:

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/yNLX5pgtG2WHUu3IkRrw/


DAY THREE. SUNDAY

Sunday starts in Shibuya, in the rain, on the way to see Erina Matsui's new work, a mural that looks like "a year in life of", part of Parco's I00 Girl Creator's festival, Shibukaru. She has texted to say she has already headed back to Okayama. I've never seen the Parco Museum, which is famous of course for launching Superflat. It's shiny and glamourous and on the third floor but a tiny space, like a showroom. Perfect for girly art however, there's lots of spangly things, toys, kawaii and pink stuff, and the odd bizarre twist. Erina has one wall to herself. It reminds me to check up on her forthcoming exhibition at Ohara, Sunrise Erina (on now, until April 8th, which means I still have a chance to see it).

Toyko Wonder Site is nearby, where I can catch up with a mini retrospective of photographs by another friend, Tomoko Yoneda, who is in Tokyo on a fellowship. There is also work by much talked about video artists Meiro Koizumi and Masaru Iwai, as well as a number of other East Asian artists, in a show ponderously titled, "Where do we go from here?". Yoneda's answer is always historical: to go looking at the now quiet, almost empty places where once something terrible happened; documentation from the Pacific War, Manchuria, the Western front. My favourite is the picture of an empty muddy field, in front a number of ugly new big McHouses, in the suburbs of some European city -- it is in fact a former minefield near Sarajevo in Bosnia. There is also a photo where we can look through Trotsky's cracked glasses at some political text; it was the first time they tried to assasinate him.

It's a nice walk from Shibuya through Harajuka, and there is another yellow Endo van in the streets. He really is everywhere!



At Watarium, I cannot wait to see the Yayoi Kusama 60s retrospective. Finally, she is getting the serious art historical recognition she deserves in Japan. This is a fantastic show, filling the odd sized shapes of the museums with even odder Kusama imaginings, including a gloriously batty videoed song in which the 80+ year old sings about how great anti-depression drugs are in a multicoloured dress and wig. It's a good advertisement for mental hospitals. The main room downstairs is full of vintage 60s photos, when everyone was nude, sexy and crazy. Not much like this in New York now. Upstairs, her red and black blow up rubber pieces look fantastic crammed into this claustrophobic mirror space. Thumbs up to Watarium. Could be the show of the week? And this was before I saw the show in Paris:

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/Siwp0OxF7XWu85mJydKQ/

I'm on a roll, so there's even time to swing by Traumaris and NADiff in Ebisu before the shop closes. Chie Sumiyoshi is out, but I check the show in her cool bar/art space. There's an interesting outdoor/window installation by Tetsuro Kano, who I will see more of later this week. Downstairs at NADiff I can load up on books, and also see a small show by Jiro Takamatsu, the man who made art of wooden chairs and bricks, and put the high in Hi Red Centre. Again, it's an education into some important avant garde art of the 60s and 70s, and there's more from him on its way this week, as it turns out.

Evening: Its Halloween and head off to the maniac all nighter at Art Gig Tokyo in the dead hospital behind Shinjuku. This one I blogged about live from my hotel bedroom. Enjoy (I did):

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/pJc4MY9ETAbwmvsd5Unl/


DAY FOUR. MONDAY.

After the late night Art Gig Tokyo yesterday evening, Monday is a slow starter. I'm headed over to Ikebukuro to meet the photo curator, Hiromi Nakamura. We co-curated a show/event on the post- "girl photography" of Mika Ninagawa and Mikiko Hara in early 2008 at UCLA.

http://escholarship.org/uc/item/7mq7n279

I have always valued Hiromi's ironic, staunchly independent and often critical view of the Tokyo art world. At the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography she put on brilliant shows: I especially remember the Mika Ninagawa show where they created a miniature model kit of one of Ninagawa's girly bedrooms as part of the catalogue. Hiromi is currently working for Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, developing a new art space for them.

We head to a small villagey area, Zoshigaya, where there is a cute old-style kissaten. It's always amazing to find these small pockets of neighbourhood life, nestling inside the big city. There's also a stop for one of my favourite icons of northern Tokyo: the To-Den tram, which is memorably captured in the coloured ink print by the first artist I met in Tokyo, Ryu Itadani.


RYU ITADANI, TO-DEN

After lunch, I walk back to Ikebukuro with one destination in mind: Junkudo book store, particularly the 7th floor where they have the art, design and photography books. I get loaded up with some catalogues or journals I've missed: Shimabuku, the 2003 Echigo-Tsumari catalogue, a Katsuhiko Hibino book, some back editions of BT. Interesting to see Yoshitomo Nara's monumental two volume catalogue raisonné (Complete Works, 2011) finally on sale after all the effort to try to find every work -- however obscure. There is an extraordinary sales note on the shelf by the book. I can't believe it! Junkudo are actually apologising for the fact that pictures #D2000-203 and #D2000-204 in the second volume have been found out to be fakes. That is so Japanese!! Yeah, at 25,000Y, I want my money back! As I argue in my book Before and After Superflat, the fact that there are fakes in circulation should hardly bother the prolific Nara, since he is uniquely an artist who has encouraged all his fans to copy his work as much as they want. That's how the Nara brand proliferates and grows bigger ever year.




NARA FAKES, APPARENTLY

The view from the 7th floor is amazing: it's a clear day, and we can see the mountains out towards Nagano.

Not much on this evening, so I go for a long soak in my favourite sento in Asakusa: one of the few traditional places in Tokyo they haven't turned into a McDonald's, Pachinko or miniature parking lot yet.


DAY FIVE. TUESDAY.

The hotel I am staying in does a shitamachi bike rental. The bike is too small, and the tyres are flabby, but it is so much fun to be an anarchist Tokyo biker again. I cycle from Ueno to catch Mizuma Gallery at early opening. After a chat with the gallery assistant, Miho Osada, and buying a couple of new publications by Makoto Aida and hearing the big news about his now announced November show at Mori Art Museum (remember where you read it first: "When Will Aida Be Famous?"), I sit through the new anime video by their star "girl" artist, Akino Kondoh. Although she is widely collected, it is her first solo exhibition in three years, since she moved to New York. The theme plays with memory and déjà vu, with the familiar feeling of childhood nostalgia and unease running through the video. It's an intuitive piece, but the arresting imagery and graphics don't reveal much to me while I sit there on my own.

I cycle all the way along the Soto-bori moat, then across the Sumida river, then south for my next meeting: lunch with artist-photographer Tomoko Yoneda. Tomoko is in Japan on a fellowship with Tokyo Wonder Site, but I know her from London, where we occasionally meet up in the East End for a drink.

She takes me over to the Kiyosumi building to see her new show at Shugo Arts. Apparently I missed a good night on Friday at Chie Sumiyoshi's Traumaris, where they were drinking late with Johnnie Walker, and former Mori Art Museum director David Elliott, who was in town.

Yoneda makes photographic art that explores the invisible history and memories that linger in places and objects. Her work is often the result of intense archival fieldwork, as well as an elaborate process of selection and composition. In the new series she photographs the interiors of a number of Japanese style houses that were built in Taipei during Japanese occupation. Some of the houses have fallen into disrepair, others have had new stories written into them by their more recent owners. As was apparent in the series of photos taken in an old Ministry of defence building in Korea -- seen at Roppongi Crossing 2010 and in Elliott's Bye Bye Kitty!!! in New York 2011 -- Yoneda's work is now taking an almost abstract painterly style of composition, as she captures geometrical forms, blocks of colour, and only the subtlest hints of specific individual intervention. This is quiet, understated, yet wholly effective work, perfectly at place in Shugo Satani's classic gallery space. Yoneda's eye pulls in the viewer, leaving them mentally to re-invest the work with the historical noise and chaos that she has almost -- but not quite -- evacuated from the photo.


TOMOKO YONEDA, KIMUSA

I am always promising I will (try) to write something about Tomoko's work. It is some of the best art by a Japanese artist of the last twenty years, but it is not an easy task. I make a bid with my editor at Art Forum to write a Critic's Pick for them about the new show, but someone has already chosen to write about it, they say. Here is the review that appears later (in turns out by Midori Matsui -- nice!):

http://artforum.com/index.php?pn=picks&id=29542&view=print

Next door to Shugo, something special. In Miyake Fine Arts' small space, there is a version of Yukinori Yanagi's World Ant Farm.


YUKINORI YANAGI, WORLD ART FARM (1990)

It is a spin on the original themes he first displayed in 1990 (the concept in fact dates to 1985) with the 9 or so flags (glass boxes of coloured sand) being the flags of the British Commonwealth. Her Majesty's Pompous Ensign gets its just reward in each box, by being gnawed away by ants. I think the ants have long gone, so what we have left is the damage they did, tunneling their way through the proud red, white and blue on multiple Union Jacks. Apparently one of the most difficult challenges that the artist faced when showing this seminal work internationally -- one of the absolute masterpieces of the early "Tokyo pop" era -- was that it was very difficult to transport the ants across national borders. We still face a world locked into nation-state-containers and nation-state-mentalities, a world of "ghettos" as the young Yanagi described it at the time (in the catalogue for Wandering Position, 1992), a world he was desperate to somehow escape. Tomoko and I say hello to Shinichi Miyake, Yanagi's long time friend and art dealer, who has a very protective relationship to this quiet superstar artist who lives and works in Hiroshima (I interviewed Miyake and Yanagi for my book in June).


DAY SIX. WEDNESDAY.

The next day, I am back at Kiyosumi-Shiragawa. Again lunch, but this time with Midori Mitamura, another long time Tokyo insider who has helped me hugely with my research. She also wants to go briefly over to the Kiyosumi Galleries to check a piece of business: there is going to be a group show she is involved in at Ai Kowada's new gallery in the building.

There is a quite violent and grotesque video by Takeshi Ikeda playing in the gallery. It's somewhere in the vicinity of recent successful work by Taro Izumi and Meiro Koizumi. The artist is smashing plastic bags of something like tomato sauce on the screen and getting quite dirty, while shouting pop slogans in English.

Midori is happy to go with me to MOT to see the shows on there. We phone a curator at the museum to see if we can get some kind of tour. On the way over, though the very charming Miyoshi district, we drop by Mujinto Productions to see what's happening. The owner, gallerist/producer, Rika Fujiki is there. The gallery is a former nomiya, lovingly preserved and modified into an art space, that is good for shows and great for events -- especially given its wide opening doors at the front, which open out with an awning to the street. On show are new works by Lyota Yagi, A View From A Higher Dimension. He has been showing some of his older, turntable works, as part of the Yokohama Triennale. The current work appear to be mathematical sculptures, made out of metals tubes, both standing on plinths and hanging from the ceiling.

At MOT, we are shown the new Bloomberg Pavilion, an odd airy construction on the promenade at the front of the musuem, by the architect Akihisa Hirata. The pavilion creates a self contained space for young artists to do solo installations, events or performances of a temporary nature. Installed is a work by Tetsuro Kano (who was also on show at Traumaris) made of nets and webbing within which has trapped a live bird in the building.

We are here to see the much discussed venture of the Museum into architecture, Yuko Hasegawa's collaboration with top archtecture duo SANAA: Ryue Nishizawa and last year's director of the Venice Architecture Biennale, Kazuyo Sejima. In some ways, it is a logical next step for Hasegawa after her signature opening show at MOT, Space for Your Future (2007), which was at the time a scintillating selection of global art, design and architecture. Architectural Environments for Tomorrow is a selection of leading global architecture as art show: Japanese architecture is hip worldwide, the idea was no doubt was to jump on the cache of the Sejima show in Venice, and try to raise more appreciation for the achievements of Japanese architects in their own country. Amazingly there is no museum or archive devoted to their work.

Unfortunately, however, this attempt to turn architectural models into a show of art installations is a pointless failure, that underlines all the problems of trying to show architecture as abstract art. Yes, there are some interesting models, but architectural models are neither art or installations, and without extensive explanation and texts -- there is virtually nothing provided, even in Japanese -- they are just empty fragments of the architectural imagination. The presentation is conventional white cube, the layout is cluttered, and we learn nothing -- except that Hasegawa wants to be taken seriously in the company of architects. The big final room then offers an incredibly self-indulgent video by Wim Wenders ("If Buildings Could Talk...") about SANAA's utopian research institute for Rolex in Lausanne, Switzerland -- again a beautiful bulding -- where the two buzz around smugly on little two wheelly scooters set to plinky plonk ambient music. The only interesting art work is a hanging installation by one of the new stars of the Tokyo scene, Haruka Kojin, who David Elliott also selected for Bye Bye Kitty!!! I hear later from another Tokyo writer that all the talk at the opening was how the redoutable Ms. Hasegawa again drove everyone crazy by changing her mind continually and failing to deliver written materials and selections on time. As if to underline the hubris, the star piece of the show -- an inflatable glass floor by superstar Junya Ishigami -- had cracked and collapsed under its own weight. Pretentious? Moi?

Midori and I are tiring but our ticket includes a permanent show of selections from the collection in the rest of the museum. Time for a quick whizz around: it's usually a good education in post-war Japanese art. Today there is a fine spread of Gutai and Mono-ha works to prove that MOT did acquire some of the essentials at the right tme. I spend most time however in a lovely room of Oscar Oiwa paintings. This most unlikely quiet partner of the Showa 40 nen kai gang is a traditionally sensual and intuitive painter, with a feel for nostalgia, place and the disorietation of a global life lived between different continents. I think of it as a kind of "magical realism" ( a term usually applied to the epic literature of Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges or Isabelle Allende). Oiwa also worked for many years in an arcitectural firm, and is now based in New York. He has a particular exquisite eye for downbeat urban landscapes: the Real Tokyo disappearing before our eyes every year. There is a video of him working on Flower Garden, and I spend time poring over White (Os) Car, with its empty cartoon car, and a quiet neighbourhood in the city (Oscar later confirms to me it is a place in Tokyo).


OSCAR OIWA, KITA-SENJU BAR WITH SHOWA 40 NEN KAI SHOCHU BOTTLES ON SHELF

I spent a week with the Showa boys in Düsseldorf in May. Here is the link to my blogs about their triumphant German show:

http://www.art-it.asia/u/rhqiun/Nkzn2v6rRlWAZLImcqHT

The other highlight is a live artist room in progress by Yusuke Asai, who is developing ever more his technique of painting with natural colours derived from different shades of soil and mineral.

Saying goodbye to Midori, I rush to catch the second round of Tsutomu Ikeuchi's ULTRA "Emerging Directors" Art Fair at Spiral garden before it closes. I go chat with my friend Ei Kibukawa of eitoeiko who has an intriguing wall of eitoeiko artists who have all painted somethng about 3/11.

http://eitoeiko.com/

It is catching a lot of passing attention as Ei explains their sharp political observations about the issues and political figures surfacing in the the aftermath of the earthquake and the disaster at Fukushima reactors. It's not a good time to wonder what may be glowing inside my cheap Ootoya meals.


DAY SEVEN: THURSDAY.

I'm busy writing in the morning, and by the time I get going it's mid afternoon. I make the short walk into the crazy land of Akihabara, which is always a fantastic surreal jolt of visual energy. Where do all these folks come from? I'm particularly impressed by some of the electronics stores I wander into. After checking out the Blythe Doll collection at Mandarake, I go looking for the new installation space by Chaos Lounge. I've been determined to investigate this Takashi Murakami-supported group of young otaku artists who made such a splash in mid 2010, led by the very vocal new curator/thinker, the baby faced, Yohei Kurose (born 1983). Chaos Lounge, driven by Kurose's corrosive manifestos explicitly set out to make provocative and divisive art, rejecting the emptiness of the 2000s, asserting otaku is the only true culture of Japan, and plugging into all kinds of new social media and technology trends. For a while, Murakami hitched a lift on the group, just the latest bunch of young creators he could patronise as a way of snubbing the mainstream Tokyo art world. However, it's questionable how representative Kurose and his gang are, given the rival agenda and much broader social base of ShibuHouse (of which more later). Kurose apparently also has split from Murakami now.


CHAOS LOUNGE

With their new show, Chaos Exile, there is first an entry exhibition, that is like a fun fair and gives you a ticket and map to a second site, located in a battered building above a hairdressers. Here basically a bunch of young, moderately talented artists have thrown a lot of paint at the wall, including quite a bit of rude graffiti ("ALL ART IS SHIT, ALL SHIT IS ART"), as well as constructing a kind of tent -- a temporary shelter set up for homeless otaku victims of the tsunami or reactor disaster.

The interesting part is the voice tape that is playing over and over. I presume this is an electonic vocoder version of one of Kurose's manifestos - I try to scribble it all down (with a few mistakes) -- here is the gist. See what you make of this:

"We are Artists
We are Engineers
We are O-T-A-K-U
We are Geeks
We are Japanese

A year ago, there was a festival
We enjoyed participating
But soon there was an earthquake
Also We like other people changed
We have several people who lost their jobs
Some of us have a sick mind
We distrust each other now estranged
The audience has also changed
People are no longer so tolerant
People can no longer afford no festival
Some proposed to escape abroad
However I love to go abroad with our beloved culture
We dont want no foreigners
Their favourite things to have along with our beloved culture
Which is going overseas

Help our Project
No One believes in the future
No One can accept the future
No Art No Laifu (Life)"

In the evening I head to the Mori Art Museum to see the big Metabolism show. Im sure they have never spent this amount of money before on a show at MAM. It is a truly spectacular attempt to represent and bring alive the magnificent, futurist dreams of Kenzo Tange and his students, who were so convinced that the amazing new urbanism of Tokyo in the 1960s was the future of the world. I'm blown away by the models and CG recreations, that are well documented throughout (although annoyingly the English catalogue had not yet appeared when I visited). It is so much better than the show at MOT. There is a brilliant small room where suddenly the influence of Jikken Kobo artist Katsuhiro Yamaguchi and Hi Red Centre's illuminary Jiro Takamatsu becomes apparent. Then there is an extraordinary recreation of the entire Osaka Expo 1970 in one room.

Apparently, Mr Mori took some persuading to do this show: and yet it is obvious that the utopian dreams of Roppongi Hills lie in a direct line from the Metabolist programme of the 1950s and 60s. When Tokyo really was the future.


**Coming soon!**
Extracts from my new book, Before and After Superflat: A Short History of Japanese Contemporary Art 1990 - 2011. Based on my blogs, interviews, and observations of the Japanese art scene over the last five years: the full inside story of just what is wrong -- and right -- with Japanese contemporary art. Check out the preview here:


http://www.adrianfavell.com/BASF%20blurb%20page.htm

ADRIAN FAVELL
http://www.adrianfavell.com

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こんにちはエイドリアン、あなたが私とeitoeikoについて賛成に注釈するThank!ニューシティー芸術フェアで、チェルシーでじゃあね!

さよなら、

Ei
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2012/02/18 22:13

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